Fianna Fáil Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley has said the increases in bus and rail fares from January will impact on the low paid, unemployed and those on social welfare the most. The increases range from 3% to 15%.

Deputy Dooley said: “The prospect of a staggering average 15% increase in Dublin Bus fares will come as a major shock to commuters and will impact on those on low incomes the most.

Luas fares will also increase along with fares on Bus Éireann’s local, commuter and city services. The National Transport Authority has also approved fare increases of an average 6% for Irish Rail and DART services.

Deputy Dooley commented: “These increases will take effect at a very difficult time for commuters and there is also concern among communities about service reductions.

“Over recent years while budgets were very difficult they were based on the principle that those who could pay the most should pay the most. This principle has been abandoned by Fine Gael and Labour. Budget 2012 places the most onerous burden on those who can least afford to pay.”